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These days, people prefer food delivery more than ever - everyone is a fan. Pubs, Pizza joints, Delis, and all the other traditional sit-down restaurants have experienced a major increase in takeout orders. 

Customers prefer ordering from restaurants that offer the most convenient delivery services. However, optimizing your restaurant’s delivery services can be challenging. 

Luckily, we’ve found the best way to make your delivery service the best in town!

In this article, we share six different strategies that you can use to boost your restaurant’s delivery sales.

Strategy 1: Optimize and Equip Your Delivery Fleet

Make sure that your drivers arrive on time and consistently deliver quality meals. Failing to do so will result in fewer people using your delivery services, which won’t help your delivery sales. If you want to deliver quality food on time, then you’ll need to invest in and maintain your delivery vehicles.  

Your delivery services start with the people making the deliveries. For starters, all your delivery drivers must have clean driving records. You’ll also need proper insurance to cover your drivers and fleet, as accidents are unpredictable. 

Most restaurant delivery services have their own fleet of a few delivery cars, or they provide their drivers with gas rebates after each shift. No matter what type of system you use, you’ll have to ensure your delivery vehicles don’t fail. Here are some things you’ll want to consider to keep your delivery cars in top-notch condition: 

  1. Maintenance: Performing routine vehicle maintenance, like oil, oil filter, and other fluid changes and tire checks, is an absolute must. If you don’t perform maintenance, your cars could break down and cause endless headaches, so have maintenance done every six to eight weeks to stay on top of it.

    Reach out to local mechanics and try to get discounts in exchange for regularly scheduled services, and if you don’t have a fleet, subsidize the maintenance for your drivers’ vehicles. *Pro Tip: Ask your mechanics if you can place a placard or sticker that advertises your restaurant in their shop. This advertising could really help you spread the word about your delivery services without having to do too much. Of course, don’t forget to offer discounted delivery for their shop team, too!    
  1. Mileage Tracking: While having your own fleet of cars requires a large upfront investment, you’ll be able to gas up or charge your vehicle at a convenient time - like before or after a driver’s shift. If your delivery drivers use their own cars, you’ll need to provide them with money covering the gas or electricity they use while making deliveries.

  2. Quality of Delivery Cars: When purchasing cars for your fleet, they’ll need to be reliable and new enough to last a few years. Old cars might break down easily. If you allow drivers to use their own cars for deliveries, hash out standards that these cars must meet, such as car age and mileage. 

    Setting a standard for the cars’ quality that will represent your restaurant when making deliveries will contribute to a good brand image. While it’s unreasonable to have a delivery fleet consisting of a few Tesla Model Ss and Bentleys, you’ll need to prevent older and non-visually appealing cars from delivering your product. A fleet of 1998 Honda Civics is most likely a bad look. 
  1. Route Optimization: While Google Maps provides high-quality routing, you’ll want to use a dedicated tracking app to optimize delivery times. Here are a few options for quality delivery apps
  • Gophered: A free app that is constantly being worked on, you’ll be able to manage multiple drivers and track their precise locations all in one platform.
  • Routific: This app lets you manage multiple routes and view your drivers on one screen. With Routific, you can manage all your drivers from a central location. 
  • Circuit: Circuit allows you to add and prioritize multiple destinations. Super convenient for those busy days.  
  • Adalo: Create your own route optimization and driver-tracking app that you envision by using Adalo’s Google Map integration and geolocation features

You’ll need to confirm that each driver knows how to properly use the delivery app you choose. To stay on top of miles traveled, keep records of miles traveled and gas consumption

Doing this will make it easier to manage your drivers and reduce the chances of drivers getting t lost during delivery. 

Analyzing delivery data can provide insights into what causes slower deliveries, what areas to avoid driving through during peak times, and your average delivery time per driver. 

Study these metrics and use your conclusions for better route configuration and planning. 

Determine which time periods have the lowest traffic. Encourage more customers to order by running discounts during these times. You can motivate more customers to make delivery orders during times that allow for quick deliveries. 

This strategy lets you make more deliveries than you would during peak hours, which can increase your overall delivery sales.

How to Maintain Quality 

The bane of every food delivery service’s existence is fluctuating food temperature. If your delivered foods’ temperature is similar to that of food served in your restaurant, you’ll have a strong competitive edge. 

But during peak business and rush hours, delivering food at a lighting pace will be close to impossible. You’ll also need to guarantee that your food stays stable while being delivered. We’ve determined a few rules of thumb that will help you with this: 

  1. Always Separate Foods by Temperature: Create a system that ensures your delivery team knows which meals are hot and which meals are cold. Separating meals by temperature during delivery is crucial for them to maintain quality
  1. Invest in Insulated Bags or Boxes: Putting food in insulated bags will ensure that it maintains the needed temperature. You’ll want to give each driver two insulated compartments: one for hot food and one for cold food. 

    Keep the interior environments of each food bag hot and cold by inserting heat and cold packs inside. Many food delivery bags will have pockets for inserting these hot and cold packs.   
  1. Secure Your Insulated Bags and Boxes in Delivery Vehicles: Make sure that the boxes and bags containing food are secured in your drivers’ vehicles and won’t move around during the drive. 

    Drivers will also need to be mindful to pack meals firmly into the bags so they stay in place. Ensuring meals and delivery bags stay put will decrease the risk of delivering a sloppy product to customers. 

Strategy 2: Optimize Your Online Menu For Delivery

To increase your delivery sales, create a menu that caters to clients desiring delivery and provides food that is optimal for delivery. Review the items on your regular menu and determine which ones are best suited for delivery. 

Once you’ve confirmed your optimal takeout meals, add them to your online menu. 

Difficult to Deliver Food

You might find that some menu items aren’t the best for delivery. While there’s nothing stopping you from including any of these for delivery, think twice about including the following items, which should ideally be eaten as soon as they’re served. 

  • After about 15 minutes, foods like deep-fried fish, onion rings, and french fries start to lose their crispiness, becoming limp, soggy, and downright unpalatable. 
  • Steak continues to cook even after you’ve removed it from the grill, so a delivered medium-rare steak will become less rare and more well-done. This will break the hearts of many steak lovers. 
  • Unless you painstakingly package each individual component, takeout nachos are out of the question. All the saucy goodness will settle into a murky puddle at the bottom of the container, leaving behind an unsightly pile of goo with half-soggy chips floating on top. 

If you must keep these items on your menu, provide a gentle note that informs customers these items are best enjoyed in your restaurant. 

Strategy 3: Make your Online Ordering System By Building Your Own App

One of the best ways to get the most out of your online ordering system is to create your own ordering app. Don’t know how to code and freaked out by tech? Don’t worry. 

You can build your very own app without knowing how to write a single line of code with a no-code app builder.

No-code technology allows anyone to use a drag-and-drop interface to design their very own app by using an app builder like Adalo. By selecting a color scheme, app structure, and functions, you’ll be able to design your takeout app in no time. 

Adalo gives you tons of design freedom, and its interface is one of the most intuitive tools available today. You’ll be able to fashion your app to your exact taste and restaurant brand.  

Once you finish building your app, Adalo lets you publish it in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store so your customers can download it conveniently and for free. You can also publish your takeout app to your website. 

After your customers order their food, they can pay immediately in your own app. Adalo comes integrated with popular payment platforms like Stripe, Square, PayPal, and more. Your customers will love being able to complete orders from your restaurant - not an expensive and sometimes slow third-party delivery system. 

Do More with Your Own App

With Adalo, you can design an app that does even more than taking orders and payments. Use Adalo’s geolocation feature to create a fleet management app for your delivery team. Drivers will download the fleet management app to their phones, and you’ll be able to see where your drivers are. 

You’ll be able to design the fleet management system to your exact taste. Adalo comes equipped with thousands of different integrations, so you’ll be able to connect analytics tools to your fleet management app to determine optimal routing.

Show your customers their order status at any given moment - just like the third-party delivery services - you can plug the geolocation feature into your ordering app, and customers can see where their order is. When their orders get close, send your customers a push notification informing them to get ready to feast. 

For speedy and professional communication, include a messaging feature in your app. Your drivers will be able to chat directly with customers if something comes up - like arriving 10 minutes early because they’ve discovered a time-saving backroad using your Adalo geolocation feature.


Strategy 4: Supercharge Your Online Presence

Your delivery business lives online, so you should put time and effort into bolstering your online presence. Here are a few actions that can bring your online presence to life

  1. Publish a Blog: When you release new takeout items or invest in a new fleet of delivery vehicles, write about it. Your customers will always be happy to learn about new dishes that you can deliver to their house quickly. 

    They’ll also feel better knowing that their food was delivered by the newest low-carbon car on the market. 
  1. Habitually Post On Social Media: Post how many orders you deliver per night, and even share some favorable metrics about your delivery time. 

    When customers see this, they’ll know that you’re dedicated to delivering quality food as quickly as possible. 

    On days when delivery is a bit slower than normal, you can post a few “lessons learned”, describing where you can improve next time. Your customers will appreciate the transparency. 
  1. Run Special Social Media Offers: Give your delivery customers discounts after they post a picture of their steaming hot delivery that arrived in record time on social media. 

    Run the discount period for a few days at a time every six weeks, and you’ll most likely see an increase in deliveries whenever you run these specials. 
  1. Advertise Your Ordering App on Social Media: Want to expand your social media reach by promoting your ordering app? Run social media ads on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or TikTok. Just follow these simple steps: 
  • Set your target audience’s location to a radius that’s reachable by your delivery fleet. 
  • When filling out the field for careers, hobbies, and interests, enter job titles or employer information of nearby businesses. For instance, if your restaurant is located within delivery distance of a school, enter “teacher” in the job field; if Deloitte is nearby, enter “works at Deloitte” in the employer field. 
  • Use beautiful screenshots of your delivery app for the ads, and provide direct links from the ads to your app’s location on the app store.

Running an ad campaign is relatively cheap. For about $500, you’ll be able to reach a few thousand people in your area. If you run a campaign every few months, you’ll gain considerable exposure in your area, which should increase the chances of growing your deliveries. 

Strategy 5: Make Offers that Nearby Businesses Can’t Refuse

Want to create customers that purchase from you on the reg? Offer nearby businesses special lunch deals. Target businesses that have a large employee headcount and offer them discounts when they make bulk orders for lunch. 

Sending your delivery driver to one location and dropping off 25 sandwiches will generate decent revenue with little cost.  

*Pro Tip: If you want to have recurring orders from the same establishment, add a “healthy food section” to your menu. Include items like broccoli and tomatoes with a salmon filet. 

Making a healthy menu will motivate people to order from you more often. To keep customers interested, don’t be boring: switch up your healthy menu regularly. Customers will appreciate being able to order healthy food daily, and they’re more likely to be your loyal customers.

Next Steps

Once you start implementing these strategies, it's important to keep the ball rolling. Continue to optimize your menu by offering seasonal dishes every few months. Doing this will give your customers a unique selection that fits with the weather outside. 

Don’t forget to maintain delivery vehicles!

If done right, your own delivery system will ensure that delivery food is nearly on par with food served in your restaurant. Setting high in-house standards will maintain food temperature and decrease messes. Doing this will give you a major competitive edge over 3rd-party delivery apps like DoorDash and Grubhub.

Don’t forget to make periodic updates to your ordering system. Customers will be pleasantly surprised to tap on your app and see new colors and fonts but on the same lovely menu. And always have a limited-time promotion on your planner. Keep plugging away, and you’ll soon have a super successful restaurant delivery business. 

Increase Your Deliveries with Adalo

Still thinking about building your own online ordering app?

Adalo comes chock full of restaurant-themed templates ready to go. You’ll also find plenty of features, like push notifications and geolocation, to help you supercharge your delivery orders.

If this all sounds too complex, don’t worry! Hundreds of restaurant owners just like you already use Adalo’s sleek, no-code builder to create their own apps. Why not give it a go? 

Start building your restaurant’s delivery app for free.